Ray's musings and humor

Archive for March, 2010

Let them know they are appreciated!

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well”





I had breakfast yesterday with a former colleague and dear friend. We had worked together for many years before I retired from our company twenty years ago. I always viewed her as a partner and not as an assistant. She enriched my working life and was responsible for many of my past successes.

In the years since she has prospered and currently has a key executive position with a major international company. Recently she was given responsibility for integrating two major internal groups and to lead them into the future. As we talked she reminded me how we had always worked to let the people in our own organization and those in the organizations we worked with just how important they were to us. We went out of our way to let them know how what they did contributed to our success.

Sadly we far too often take workers for granted. We seldom let them know that if were not for what they do we would not survive. I don’t mean the managers and supervisors although we made sure we let them know we appreciated what they did, I mean the front line worker. If you have watched the Undercover Boss on TV lately you have seen what I mean. My friend went on to tell me how important what we had done in the past turned out to be for her today.

In the restructuring that she has done there were many folks who were threatened by the changes and the unknown. Some even lived in fear of job. Fortunately my friend did not take long before my friend began walking around and seeing what everyone was doing and how they fit in. She then sat with each team member and told them how important they were to the group and how much she appreciated their work. She sincerely shared with them how glad she was that they were part of the team. These good people had never been told how important they were and how much they were respected. My friend reported than some even cried because they learned that someone noticed and someone cared.

I have found over the years that it is those we often take for granted who are the most important in our lives and we need to show them our gratitude. But we can’t do that unless we understand how much we appreciate them. When I got home I got this e-mail from Ralph Marston that expresses the value of appreciation and gratitude.

Riches without end

Do you want to really feel good? Then feel thankful.

Do you wish to make a great impression? Then be appreciative.

Would you like to empower your actions? Then live and think and act with an ever-present sense of gratitude.

There is great wealth that already exists in your life. From that wealth you can draw the energy, the inspiration and the resources necessary to do anything.

Yet to benefit from that great wealth, you must sincerely appreciate it. When you truly realize how much you have, you also know, without a doubt, that you can achieve whatever you choose.

Every moment great and small is an opportunity to be thankful. And in thankfulness, there are riches without end.


“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

William James


The Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments. They were ready to discuss the last one. The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was. Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted, "Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor’s wife."


Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.


Tom and Darryl were out hunting deer. Tom asked, "Did you see that?"

"No," Darryl replies.

"Well, a bald eagle just flew overhead."

"Oh," responded Darryl.

A couple of minutes later, Tom said, "Did you see that?"

"See what?"

"Are you blind? There was a big, black bear walking on that hill, over there."


A few minutes later Tom again said, "Did you see that?"

By now, Darryl is getting aggravated, so he says, "Yes, I did!"

And Tom says: "Then why did you step in it?"


The five most essential words for a healthy, vital relationship are "I apologize" and "You are right."


He said:

On my four-year-old daughter’s first trip to Disneyland, she couldn’t wait to get on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.  As the car zoomed through the crazy rooms, into the path of a speeding train, and through walls that fell away at the last second, she clutched the little steering wheel in front of her.

When the ride was over, she said to me a little shakily, "Next time, you drive.  I didn’t know where I was going."


A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities; an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. Reginald B. Mansell


Visiting St Patrick’s Cathedral on a tour of New York City, my daughter and her children were awed by the sight. The kids were especially curious about the votive candles, so my daughter asked if they’d each like to light one. She explained that is it customary to say a prayer of petition or thanks, and she was careful to tell them that these are not like birthday candles.

"Do you have any questions?" she asked.

"No," said the five-year-old, "but if there’s a pony outside, it’s mine."


"I had a friend who was a clown. When he died, all his friends went to the funeral in one car." Steven Wright


Mrs. Smith pulled Mrs. Jones out of earshot of the porch, where Mrs. Jones’ lovely young daughter, Linda, sat. "It is really none of my business," whispered Mrs. Smith, "but have you noticed what your daughter is doing?"

"Why, no. Is she up to anything special?"

Mrs. Smith leaned closer. "Haven’t you noticed? She has started knitting tiny garments!"

Mrs. Jones’ troubled brow cleared. "Well, thank goodness," she said smiling, "at last she has taken an interest in something besides running around with boys."


Luck is a lazy person’s estimate of a worker’s success.


My wife called me from her car after she had arrived at an appointment. I could tell from her voice that she was getting frustrated. Finally, she said, "I know I had my cell phone with me and now, I can’t find it!"

I replied, "Aren’t you talking on it?"

There was a solid period of stunned silence as the reality of the situation sank in, followed by, "You are not going to tell anybody about this!"


The nobler sort of man emphasizes the good qualities in others and does not accentuate the bad.

The inferior does the reverse.



Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 2000 readers from around the world.

They are our future, we must not let them down.

Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends.

Benjamin Disraeli




I have another one of those really full days ahead. Breakfast and lunch meetings as well as a Butler University lecture tonight. I am looking forward to seeing the campus as our whole town is really celebrating Butler Universities making the NCAA Championships Basketball Final Four that will be held right here in Indianapolis next weekend. Since my mind will be elsewhere the rest of today I’ll fall back on a Daily from yesteryear.


Here is the Daily I sent on March 30, 2005


I had lunch with one of my favorite University Professors the other day. Most of our hour and a half together was spent in analyzing and solving the world’s problems. About mid-way through our lunch the conversation drifted into a discussion of the youth of today and to some extent what she is seeing in her students. We both expressed our personal concern that too many young people today either feel disenfranchised or believe that being concerned about national and world affairs is a waste of time. I find this to be tragic as these are the citizens of tomorrow, they are the educated people upon who we will depend to provide us a supportive society in which we can grow old gracefully.

While we had no answers, we speculated that to some extent we have led this generation to see success as winning a good job and then making lots of money. We seem to have instilled the idea that it is not important to enrich their lives through life-long learning, taking responsibility for staying abreast of current events, and allowing themselves to enjoy the great rewards that culture has to offer. I even understand that some University Curriculum Committees are cutting back or even eliminating required courses that do not directly apply to the acquisition of marketable skills, I think of this as curricula de-enrichment.

Years ago one of Indianapolis’ most respected leaders told me how disappointed he was that his son had chosen to get an undergraduate engineering degree. My friend felt that his son would have been much better off taking a liberal arts degree first so that he would be able to see, understand, and enjoy all the world had to offer. My friend had the credentials to make such judgments as he had been the President of a Major Bank, the President of a Major Sports franchise, the Chairman of a number of corporations, and one of our town’s greatest citizens.

I think we owe our youth the opportunity to see and touch ideas and things that would enrich their lives; to not give them that chance is stealing from them the opportunity to discover very best life has to offer. If we don’t provide our youth with a well rounded education we will pay the price in the years ahead.


It is very nearly impossible… to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind.

James Baldwin


What their mom said:

COLUMBUS‘ MOTHER: "I don’t care what you’ve discovered, you still could have written!"

MICHELANGELO’S MOTHER: "Can’t you paint on walls like other children? Do you have any idea how hard it is to get that stuff off the ceiling?"

NAPOLEON’S MOTHER: "All right, if you aren’t hiding your report card inside your jacket, take your hand out of there and show me."

ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S MOTHER: "Again with the stovepipe hat? Can’t you just wear a baseball cap like the other kids?"

MARY’S MOTHER: "I’m not upset that your lamb followed you to school, but I would like to know how he got a better grade than you."

ALBERT EINSTEIN’S MOTHER: "But it’s your senior picture. Can’t you do something about your hair? OY! Styling gel, mousse, something…?"

GEORGE WASHINGTON’S MOTHER: "The next time I catch you throwing money across the Potomac, you can kiss your allowance good-bye!"

THOMAS EDISON’S MOTHER: "Of course I’m proud that you invented the electric light bulb. Now turn it off and get to bed!"

PAUL REVERE’S MOTHER: "I don’t care where you think you have to go, young man, midnight is past your bedtime."


I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.


Here is one of the reasons I like the Irish so much.

Irish Proverbs

A kind word never broke anyone’s mouth.

A dog owns nothing, yet is seldom dissatisfied.

It is better to be born lucky than rich.  

A lie travels farther than the truth.

An old broom knows the dirty corners best.

Put silk on a goat, and it’s still a goat.

A friend’s eye is a good mirror.

It’s no use carrying an umbrella if your shoes are leaking.

God is good, but never dance in a small boat.

Even a small thorn causes festering.

Marriages are all happy its having breakfast together that causes all the trouble.

Every dog is brave on his own doorstep.

You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.

Drink is the curse of the land. It makes you fight with your neighbor. It makes you shoot at your landlord and it makes you miss him.

You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.


It was a May-December marriage, and as the old man climbed in to bed for the first time with his new bride, he asked, "Did your mother tell you what to do on your wedding night?"

"Yes," she cooed, kissing him lightly, "She told me everything."

"Good," said the elderly gentleman as he turned out the light, "because I’ve forgotten."


"I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy next to me."

Woody Allen.


While walking through a parking lot, I tripped and fell flat on my face.

As I was lying there, a woman stopped her car and called out, "Are you hurt?" "No, I’m fine," I said, touched by her concern. "Oh, good," she continued. "So will you be vacating your parking space now?"


If money won’t make you happy, you won’t like poverty either.


She said that while visiting her son during his freshman year, she was shocked by the mess in his room:  clothes, books, and rubbish lay everywhere. Later, over dinner, she tried to touch on the informal versus formal dress codes that life after college might require.  Her son, however, shared his own firmly held dress code guidelines:

1. Informal: socks not required

2. Semiformal:  two socks required

3. Formal:  both socks must match


You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.


Maureen said: At my granddaughter’s wedding, the DJ polled the guests to see who had been married longest.  It turned out to be my husband and I.  The DJ asked us, "What advice would you give to the newly-married couple?"

I said, "The three most important words in a marriage are, ‘You’re probably right.’"

Everyone then looked at my husband.  He said, "She’s probably right."


Education would be so much more effective if its purpose were to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they don’t know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it.

Sir William Haley


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 2000 readers from around the world.

I’m not going to let them upset me!

“I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me.”

Dave Barry



As you know I don’t believe people make you angry, I think we get angry because we let people get under our skin. Unfortunately those who respond angrily often sink to the level of the source of their anger. I have been especially disheartened by how so many people seem to have lost their civility. Lately I have felt debating those who behave badly is a waste of my time and energy. There are far too many good people in the world for me to spend precious time with those who are mean spirited and who spend their time criticizing and justifying their criticism of others through a false sense of superiority. I honestly believe that society will wither not as much from outside threats as much as what we lose through fighting among ourselves.

I had decided to double my effort to behave civilly and to reinforce those I met who respond with reason and understanding. I don’t mean that I will limit my encounters only to people who agree with my point of view, we all have our differences and need to hear other points of view. What I mean is that we can differ and often find areas of agreement if we do so without threats and polarizing argument.

Here are some edited suggestions written by life coach Maria Lesitz to consider when we face unpleasant encounters.

Energy Vampires: What to do with those Toxic People!

You know the people I am talking about … the people that are always SO negative or the ones that drain your energy when you are around them. Here are just a few ways to know that you are around a person that is toxic to your overall health and well-being:

1. You don’t look forward to seeing them (yeah, that’s a clue!)

2. You get all stressed out before and after you are around them

3. They always point out to you the negative in a situation and have the ability to go on a negative rampage, sharing all the “bad stuff” about everything and everyone.

4. They make you feel like what you have to say is not relevant … it’s all about them.

5. They treat you poorly … yell at you, make you feel bad about you, abuse you emotionally or physically.

How you choose to deal with the people in your life can have a HUGE impact on how you physically and emotionally feel – which as you know will impact what you attract more of into your life.

Do people frustrate you? Do you ever argue with someone and then find that you physically don’t feel too good or that you are exhausted from all that negative energy you exerted?

There are many studies out there that prove that stress has a negative impact on our overall health — so why do we choose to get so upset when someone is rude to us? If I choose to get upset or bent out of shape because of that person, it sure is NOT going to change how that person is going to continue to behave.

I am a firm believer in treating people the way I would want to be treated — and yes, that still applies to the people that are "nasty", “negative” or “rude”.

Now as a Law of Attraction Coach, I need to tell you that what you think of a person and what you expect from them will 100% impact what you get in return. So, sometimes, it is important to start to look for the positives in a person (especially if it is someone close to you that you see or talk to on a daily basis). Because what you focus on, you will get more of.  So, if there are some people in your family that you may deem as “toxic”, you may want to start focusing on their positive qualities (come on, there has to be at least one!).

I also remind myself with strangers who may be rude or nasty that "you never know what other peoples’ baggage is". We simply just don’t know why people act the way they do… but one thing I do know is that YOU have a choice on how you respond, behave and act with people. You are in control of your actions. So, the next time that someone "pisses you off", take the high road… and add a few years to your life by responding in a neutral way.

I learned the following equation from a seminar leader… E + R = O

E= Event (which is always neutral — an event that occurs is neither positive or negative — we put that judgment on it)

R= Our response to the event (Negative or Positive) – which is our choice at all times!

O = Outcome (which is all based on our response since the event is actually neutral)

For example, let’s say it rains on your golf day. The event is "it’s raining on your golf day". You can choose to respond by getting all upset and being annoyed that you can’t golf that day (negative response) OR you can choose to say " oh well, maybe I will go out with my friends today and grab a bite to eat, instead" or "maybe I will read that book I have been wanting to read and curl up with that warm comfy blanket".

EVERYTHING impacts your overall health and well-being – YES, even how you relate to the people in your life (both strangers and loved ones). If you let those “toxic people” spread their toxicity to you, then it may very well just suck the energy right out of you. But the good news is YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF HOW YOU RESPOND to everyone in your life.

Do yourself a favor, the next time you encounter a “nasty” or “toxic” person or have an event happen to you that you perceive as "negative", ask yourself the question "how could I respond to this differently that would make me FEEL better?"


“When you argue with a fool, chances are he is doing just the same”


Three women were sitting around and bragging about their children. The first one says, "You know, my son graduated first in his class from Stanford. He’s now a doctor, making $250,000 a year in Chicago." The second woman says, "You know my son graduated first in his class from Harvard. He’s now a lawyer, making half a million dollars a year and lives in Los Angeles."

The last woman says, "You know my son; he never did too well in school. He never went to any university, but he now makes one million dollars a year in New York working as a sports repairman."

The other two women ask, "What is a sports repairman?"

The woman then replies, "Oh, he fixes games… you know, hockey games, football games, baseball games…."


Craig said that on the first day of school, a first grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."


Paddy was in America. He was patiently waiting, and watching the traffic cop on a busy street crossing. The cop stopped the flow of traffic and shouted, "Okay pedestrians". Then he’d allow the traffic to pass. He’d done this several times, and Paddy still stood on the sidewalk. After the cop had shouted "Pedestrians" for the tenth time, Paddy went over to him and said, "Is it not about time ye let the Catholics across?"


"Weiler’s Law"

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t have to do it himself.


"Say, Jim," Steve said to his pal, "how do you like your new job?"

"It’s the worst job I ever had."

"How long have you been there?"

"About three months."

"Why don’t you quit?"

"No way. This is the first time in 20 years that I’ve looked forward to going home."


It doesn’t get any better than this, that’s what I’m afraid of.


A very elderly gentleman, well dressed, hair well groomed, great looking suit, flower on his lapel, smelling slightly of after-shave, presenting a well-looked-after image, walks into an upscale cocktail lounge.

To his delight, seated at the bar is an elderly looking lady. The gentleman walks over, sits along side of her, orders a drink, takes a sip, turns to her, and says, "So, tell me, do I come here often?"


“Two men in a burning house must not stop to argue”

African Proverb


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 2000 readers from around the world.

Yes it is the key!

Balance is key: I need to be successful in my career to feel fulfilled, be surrounded by people I care about to share it with, and have my health to be able to do the things I love to do!

Kiana Tom



I was fortunate to have been selected for the first class of our cities leadership program that was offered by our Central Indiana Chamber of Commerce and funded by the Lacy Foundation more than 30 years ago. The organization has prepared hundreds of our business and community leaders ever since. Many of the participants have gone on to make significant contributions that have helped make our city the great place it is today. Most of us who have participated over the years have stayed connected through our membership in the Lacy Leadership Association which provides a number of programs that keep members involved and informed.

As you know I have been modifying my activities so that I can be effective within my capabilities while retaining some balance in my life. It has stimulated my interest in hearing what others have done to achieve the same thing. In the process I found the following article written by a fellow Lacy member who was the creator of our countries largest health insurance company, first as it’s President and then as the Chairman of the Board. Even though he retired seven or so years ago from that career it has not stopped him from continuing to make major contributions both in business and in life choices. Here is what he wrote about four years ago.

For me, it has never been necessary to sacrifice all for my career.  Professional success without meaningful family life, community, and devotion to my own personal growth and performance would be failure.

It seems unfair, however, to disparage those who cannot or choose not to live a balanced life.  A balanced life is not a priority for everyone. Maybe they cannot find the discipline they need or the time. Maybe they link self-esteem to self-sacrifice. Maybe they are wired differently and simply love their work above all else.

Having been asked often how to maintain a balance in life, I offer the following suggestions to those struggling to achieve it.

First, learn where the line is between working hard and being consumed by your work. If you can’t figure out where the line is, ask a friend, spouse or significant other to help you. If you cross the line, step back quickly. Do not put it off, or else the line moves and you have sacrificed more life.

Second, recognize that you need periodic, complete breaks from work (vacations) to regain perspective and rest deeply. Thinking that the organization you lead cannot do without you is most likely your own stuff. It should do fine in your absence. If it cannot, you are failing as a leader.

Third, sustain a healthy level of fitness, not just to avoid disease, but to have a competitive advantage that allows you to outperform and outwork most everyone around you yet make better decisions.  Most bad decisions are made when we are fatigued. Stay fit, fatigue less, and remain sharp.

Fourth, hold family events inviolate. Kids’ school programs, athletic or other events and birthdays should rarely ever be missed.

I have an incredibly rich, blessed life, in large part because a balanced life allows me to "have it all." The suggestions above serve me well.

This is truly sound advice, I know that in a small way I have reaped great benefit that resulted from my putting balance ahead of compulsive ambition twenty years ago, I only wish I had not waited so long.


A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.

William Arthur Ward


True Definitions

TRAFFIC LIGHT — apparatus that automatically turns red when your car approaches.

DIVORCE — postgraduate in School of Love.

PIONEER — early American who was lucky enough to find his way out of the woods.

PEOPLE — some make things happen, some watch things happen, and the majority has no idea what’s happened.

SWIMMING POOL — a mob of people with water in it.

SELF-CONTROL — the ability to eat only one peanut.

SALESMAN — man with ability to convince wife she’d look fat in mink.

EGOCENTRIC — a person who believes he is everything you know you are.

FOREIGN FILM — any movie shown in Texas theater that isn’t a western.

OPTIMIST — girl who regards a bulge as a curve.

MAGAZINE — bunch of printed pages that tell you what’s coming in the next issue.

COLLEGE: The four-year period when parents are permitted access to the telephone.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS: Police station, fire department and places that deliver.

OPERA: When a guy gets stabbed in the back and instead of bleeding he sings.

BUFFET: A French word that means "Get up and get it yourself."

BABY-SITTER: A teen-ager who must behave like an adult so that the adults who are out can behave like teen-agers.


"If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one."

Mother Teresa


A mother was showing her son how to zip up his coat. "The secret," she said, "is to get the left part of the zipper to fit in the other side before you try to zip it up."

The boy looked at her quizzically…"Why does it have to be a secret?"


I thought I had found the perfect date in the Personals when she said she liked country music, but what she failed to say was her country was Albania.


Three blondes died and found themselves standing before St. Peter. He told them that before they could enter the Kingdom, they had to tell him what Easter represented.

The first blonde said, "Easter is a holiday where they have a big feast and we give thanks and eat turkey."

St. Peter said, "Noooooo," and he banished her to Hell.

The second blonde said, "Easter is when we celebrate Jesus’ birth and exchange gifts."

St. Peter said, "Noooooo," and he banished her to Hell.

The third blonde said she knew what Easter was.

St. Peter said, "So, tell me."

She said, " Easter is a Christian holiday that coincides with the Jewish festival of Passover. Jesus was having Passover feast with His disciples when He was betrayed by Judas, and the Romans arrested Him. The Romans hung Him on the cross and eventually He died. Then they buried Him in a tomb behind a very large boulder…

St. Peter said, "Verrrrrry good."

Then the blonde continued, "Now, every year the Jews roll away the boulder and Jesus comes out. If he sees his shadow, we have six more weeks of basketball."

St. Peter fainted.


Doctor to patient:  I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac.    


Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.

Anne Frank


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 2000 readers from around the world.

*+&@!!)<, do you agree?

The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.

Joseph Priestley




Some of you have heard me recently express my concern that the information explosion that we live with everyday is often form over substance. We are inundated with messages and unfiltered content that can easily make the process of verifying, selecting, managing and absorbing what is available so time consuming that we don’t really process it all. And before you say anything, yes I realize I am one of those sources that load up in-boxes, but I do understand that each of you makes the choice as to what you read and hear and what you don’t.

What concerns me is that I often feel we have become so enamored by the message vehicle that we think that dazzling formats, attention grabbing tricks and the like add so much value to a message that we often lose the meaning of the content. It is hard enough in today’s polarized society to find accuracy when so many are coloring the messages with their perspective to have communications further complicated by style.

My fear is that the sheer volume of what we receive via the media and voice has turned us into abridged thinkers, reducing our ability to process truly important information. I would like to see the return of effective communicators in lieu of stylistic message transmitters. It is like the age old question, is a sound a sound if it is unheard? And in this case is a message a message if it is not understood? I have learned the necessity for me to feedback to people what I think they said in order for me to make absolutely sure that I have it right, often there is something I didn’t understand and in every case the communicator knows that their message was received. In order for communications to really work we must train ourselves to truly listen and process the messages and when we do we will soon learn what to select and absorb and what to jettison as a waste of our precious time.

Here is something Steve Brunkhurst wrote recently that I think is worth your consideration.

Five Lessons about Communication

Powerful communication involves timing, silence, listening, actions, and carefully chosen words and emotions…

1. First Things First

Communication involves making internal choices. Timing can make all the difference when conveying your thoughts. Some things need to be said up front, and some things are better said later. Knowing the difference is crucial. If there is something important that you need to say to someone, say it now. There isn’t always a second chance.

2. Silence is Powerful

Moments of silence can sometimes send the most powerful messages. Not every moment in a conversation needs to be filled with spoken words. Sometimes silence is more telling, effective, necessary, and appropriate.

3. Messages are Everywhere

Listen deeply, not only to what a person is saying. Listen to what they are not saying. Hear the messages between words, within emotions, and in the choices of words used. Often, these silent messages are not there by accident. Ask questions and confirm what you think you heard.

4. Actions Tell the Story

Actions are the greatest tellers of the truth. They need to be congruent with our words. This is a powerful lesson that is often overlooked. Powerful communication requires watching and doing as well as speaking and listening. Actions that back up words will build trust.

5. Turn to the Appropriate Emotional Page

Match your emotions to the needs of your communication partner. Children are especially sensitive to the emotions accompanying our words. In order to hear our messages, they need for us to be on the same page with their level of enthusiasm. Emotions and words chosen and measured carefully allow us to communicate with empathy while communicating with honesty.


You’ll Know Yours Is A Redneck Church If:

The finance committee refuses to provide funds for the purchase of a chandelier because none of the members knows how to play one.

People ask, when they learn that Jesus fed the 5000, whether the two fish were bass or catfish, and what bait was used to catch ’em.

Opening day of deer season is recognized as an official church holiday.

The choir is known as the "OK Chorale."

Boone’s Farm "Tickle Pink" is the favorite wine for communion.

Finding and returning lost sheep isn’t just a parable.

High notes on the organ set the dogs on the floor to howling.

People think "rapture" is what you get when you lift something too heavy.

The choir robes were donated by (and embroidered with the logo from) Billy Bob’s Barbecue.

The collection plates are really hub caps from a ’56 Chevy.


INFLATION: Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.


The Smiths were dining out when his wife noticed her ex-husband at the bar.

"Honey," she said as she pointed the guy out, "that guy at the bar has been drinking like that since I left him seven years ago."

Her husband said, "That’s silly, no one celebrates that much."


The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don’t know what you’re doing, someone else does.


Perks of Being Over 60

1. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size. 

2. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.

3. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.

4. People call at 9 PM and ask, "Did I wake you?"

5. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

6. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

7. Things you buy now won’t wear out.

8. You can eat dinner at 4 P.M.

9. You can live without sex but not without glasses.

10. You enjoy hearing about other peoples operations.

11. You get into heated arguments about pension plans and politicians.

12. You have a party and the neighbors don’t even realize it.

13. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

14. You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.

15. You sing along with the music piped into the Mall.

16. Your eyes won’t get much worse.

17. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

18. Your ankles swell and you can’t feel them either.

19. You have lost your sense of smell. 

20. Your taste buds only sense the alcohol in medicines. and worst of all…… You can’t remember who sent you this darn list.


Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?


The new Librarian decided that instead of checking out children’s books by writing the names of borrowers on the book cards herself, she would have the youngsters sign their own names.   She would then tell them they were signing a "Contract" for returning the books on time.

Her first customer was a second grader, who looked surprised to see a new Librarian. He brought four books to the desk and shoved them across to the Librarian, giving her his name as he did so.

The Librarian pushed the books back and told him to sign them out.  The boy laboriously printed his name on each book card and then handed them to her with a look of utter disgust.

Before the Librarian could even start her speech he said, scornfully, "That other Librarian we had could write."


Ever notice that you have to get to church pretty early to find a seat in the back row?


A young man was walking past an old woman on a street corner, when she said, "Son, if it is not too much trouble, can you see me across the street."

The young man said, "Just a minute."  Then he walked across the street, looked back and yelled, "Yes, I can see you!"


The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.

Edward R. Murrow


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 2000 readers from around the world.

I hope your day yesterday was as good as mine was!

"Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."

Lou Holtz



I had one of those really full but rewarding days yesterday. I started very early with a brainstorming meeting with a friend who has developed a program to help businesses succeed through the strategic use of skilled talent that is available these days for both short and long term assignments.

I was also in morning discussions around strategies to build self esteem in the chronically depressed. Sadly too many don’t think well enough of themselves to communicate what they can do and when that happens it makes things even worse. We talked about how finding non-threatening volunteer opportunities that they could do and taste successes might be helpful in implementing a process that would result in their returning to a level of confidence that could then be expanded.

In the afternoon I attended an exciting meeting that laid the foundation for a partnership between organizations that will give city kids a chance to participate in a golfing experience this summer. What made this meeting special was that it brought our cities parks program, a community multi-service center, one of the nation’s most prestigious golf courses and our local Kiwanis Club together for the benefit of children who don’t have much to brighten their lives.

If that was not enough I was privileged to be asked to participate in a planning meeting between a neighborhood community association, the Purdue extension service, the local multi-service center, the head of an exciting community gardens program and representatives from both our Kiwanis club and an active Rotary club. It marked the beginning of an effort to provide community vegetable garden programs, nutrition education programs, and opportunities for seniors to stay active while making fresh food available to folks who live in the area. There is even a community market on the drawing board. I was glad that I was allowed to participate in the discussion for it was heartwarming to see how the synergism of a diverse set of interests and resources can be brought together to accomplish far more than they could by themselves.

I ended my day at a presentation by Catholic Relief on the church in Cuba that included an excellent discussion on Cuba today and the possibilities for Cuba tomorrow. Many of the folks in attendance have participated in humatarian visits to Cuba over the past ten years and it was great to hear first hand objective reports on the good people of Cuba who have had little for far too long.

Yep, it was a full day; I was totally worn out by the time I got home. While I don’t have the stamina I once had nor has my health made me reliable enough to commit to ongoing responsible roles, I am grateful that I have been given so many opportunities to do what I can.

In that same vein here is something I got e-mailed from Ralph Marston a couple of days ago that I think is right on target.

Do all you can, when you can, with what you have. Though it may sometimes seem that you’re not getting much accomplished, the only alternative is to get nothing accomplished.

To make progress you must be actively making an effort. With each effort, at the very least you gain experience, exposure, knowledge and competence.

To find what you’re looking for, you must be looking. To come across a great opportunity, you must be in motion.

By all means, go ahead and dream big, wonderful and meaningful dreams. Then let those dreams motivate you to get up and get busy making them real.

Circumstances may indeed push against you, but they cannot hold you back. Always, there is something you can do, some move you can make, some new approach you can follow.

Jump into life, get yourself in motion, and make a positive difference every chance you get. Persist, keep yourself moving, and you’ll absolutely get where you wish to go.


The more deeply you understand other people, the more you will appreciate them, the more reverent you will feel about them. To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.

Stephen R. Covey


I called to make airline reservations and was put on hold. After several minutes of taped music, a recorded voice came on: "If you have been waiting longer than ten minutes, press eight. This will not speed up your call, but it will give you something to do while you wait."


Among the most effective labor-saving devices is the neighbor who hasn’t returned your garden tools.


There was a tailor named Mendel and he was worried about his business. Mendel was down to his last $50 and was torn between buying a sign and getting food for his family. Mendel decided to pray.

"Dear God," he said, "I don’t know what to do. If I buy a sign it may bring in business, but I need to buy groceries for my family…and if the sign doesn’t bring in sales, we will starve."

God replied, "Mendel, buy the sign. Don’t worry, your family won’t starve."

So, Mendel bought the sign and business took off. The tailor fed his family and all was well. However, as time passed it became evident that Mendel couldn’t keep up with orders all by himself. He contemplated hiring on a helper, but wondered if he could afford it. So, he asked God if getting help would be a prudent move.

"Go ahead," God tells Mendel, "hire some help, you’ll do okay."

And so Mendel did. And business took off beyond his wildest dreams. After a time, the tailor decided to move to a larger site that would accommodate the growing demands of his business. As he surveyed certain locations, he found a perfect storefront, but the rental price was really steep.

"God," Mendel again prayed, "I found the perfect place to relocate my business. But the cost of the lease worries me. I don’t want to get in over my head."

"Go ahead and a get a lease on the store, Mendel," said God. "Trust me, you’ll be okay–I haven’t steered you wrong yet, have I?"

So Mendel signed a lease on the 5th Avenue store and profits from his business went through the roof. Out of heartfelt gratitude, Mendel proposed to the Almighty that he dedicate the store to Him.

"How do you like the name "Yaweh and Mendel," the tailor asked.

"Nah," God said. "Let’s go with ‘Lord and Taylor.’"


Character isn’t inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts.

Helen Gahagan Douglas


An old wild west fort is about to be attacked. The wily old General sends for his trusty Indian Scout. "Yumti-Bi," he said, "you must use all your thirty years of skill in trying to estimate the sort of army we are up against here." Yumti-Bi laid down and put his ear to the ground… "Heap large war party," he says, "maybe three hundred braves, four chiefs, two on black stallions, two on white stallions. All have war paint…many many guns. Medicine man also with them." "Good grief!" exclaims the General, "you can tell all of that just by listening to the ground???" "No, General," replied the Indian, "I can see under the gate…"


Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Dr. Seuss


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 2000 readers from around the world.

I am thankful, are you?

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.

J.B. Priestly




This is going to be my busiest day this week so I’ll be on the run with little time to think much less compose a new Daily for today. Here is an older copy that I hope you will enjoy.



Ray’s Daily from five years ago today.

March 23, 2005


What I like about the following is how positive our view of life can be if we only let it. Not the least of which is our thankfulness for just being here and having the chance to see all that life can be.


Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary, because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

Author Unknown


There is a calmness to a life lived in Gratitude, a quiet joy.

Ralph H. Blum


Been there?

* He wears the pants in the house – under his apron.  

* He has two chances of winning an argument with her – slim and none.  

* She leads a double life – hers and his.  

* He comes right out and says what she tells him to think.  

* She doesn’t have to raise the roof; all she has to do is raise an eyebrow.  

* He always has the last word – he says, "I apologize."  

* The last big decision she let him make was whether to wash or to dry.  

* He married her for her looks, but not the kind he’s getting now.  


A new survey shows most American teens are spending a lot more time with their parents.

That’s because in this economy, they’re all working weekends together at McDonald’s.


How old is…. Grandma? Stay with this — the answer is at the end — it will blow you away…

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandmother about current events.  The grandson asked his grandmother what she thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.

The Grandma replied,  "Well, let me think a minute, I was born, before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill.

There were no credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens. Man had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers, and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and man had yet to walk on the moon.

Your Grandfather and I got married first and then lived together.

Every family had a father and a mother.

Until I was 25, I called every man older than I, "Sir"- – and after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, "Sir."

We were before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.

Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong, and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege.

Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.

Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started.

Time-sharing! Meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends — not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.

We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President’s speeches on our radios.

If you saw anything with ‘Made in Japan’ on it, it was junk.

The term ‘making out’ referred to how you did on your school exam.

Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and instant coffee were unheard of.

We had 5 &10-cent store where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.

Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.

If you wanted to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail one letter and two postcards.

You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600 but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.

In my day, "grass" was mowed, "coke" was a cold drink, "pot" was something your mother cooked in, and "rock music" was your grandmother’s lullaby.

"Aids" were helpers in the Principal’s office, "chip" meant a piece of wood, "hardware" was found in a hardware store, and "software" wasn’t even a word.

And we were the last generation to actually believe that a woman needed a husband

to have a baby.

No wonder people call us"old and confused" and say there is a Generation gap….. and how old do you think I am ???…..

Read on to see — Pretty scary if you think about it, and rather sad at the same time.

Grandma is Only 59…. She was born in 1946 .


Men who are getting on in years should console themselves with the thought that when they get too old to set bad examples, they can always start giving advice!


It was a beautiful wedding, but the mother of the bride seemed to be taking it too hard. Right after the ceremony, an old friend came up to console her. "Don’t cry," said the friend. "They say girls marry men like their fathers."

"I’ve heard that too," said the mother. "That’s why I’m crying!"

him by forty pounds and he was a coward."


I have my standards.  They may be low, but I have them.

Bette Midler


The tiresome jury selection process continued, each side hotly contesting and dismissing potential jurors. Don O’Brian was called for his question session.

"Property holder?"

"Yes, I am, Your Honor."

"Married or single?"

"Married for twenty years, Your Honor."

"Formed or expressed an opinion?"

"Not in twenty years, Your Honor."


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more.

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 2000 readers from around the world.

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